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Nepali woman dies of suffocation in menstruation hut

A 21-year-old Nepali woman has died reportedly due to suffocation during her stay in a windowless hut as part of a banned practice that considers women untouchable during menstruation, according to a media report.

The incident happened in Nepal’s remote Doti district on January 31 when Parwati Bogati was sleeping alone in a secluded hut due to menstruation and had lit a fire to keep the hut warm.

When Bogati did not wake up till late next morning, her mother-in-law Laxmi Bogati went to the hut to check her but found that she had passed away, the Kathmandu Post reported.

“She (Parwati) was excited about the next day as her menstruation would end. Poor child closed her eyes forever,” said Laxmi.

She said that Parwati went to the secluded hut in a nearby abandoned house as the regular menstrual hut she used to go was crowded that day as three more women from the village having their menstrual period were already there to spend the night.

The rural municipality’s Chairman Dirgha Bogati said that Bogati died of suffocation.

“Police took the body for post-mortem on the same evening,” he said.

As part of the tradition, many communities in Nepal consider menstruating women impure and force female of menstruation age to stay in sheds away from the family home once a month despite the practice being banned.

In 2005, Nepal’s Supreme Court banned such practices which were followed by a new law in 2017 to criminalise it.

In January this year, a 35-year-old woman and two of her sons died of suffocation after they spent a night in a windowless hut as part of the banned practice.

Similarly, in 2018, a 23-year-old woman in Nepal was found dead at an isolated hut where she was left alone as part of the banned practice.

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